UK Mayhem Leaves Disarmed Citizens at the Mercy of Criminals

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Dr. Snubnose
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UK Mayhem Leaves Disarmed Citizens at the Mercy of Criminals

Postby Dr. Snubnose » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:45 am

By now you have seen the headlines and images of destruction: the rioting, looting, violent assaults, and arson. London and other UK cities look like war zones and their citizens are afraid to venture out, because the danger is very real. It's a view of the temporary breakdown of society. It is gut check time; a time when the concept of being able to defend oneself gives way to the stark reality that few viable options to do so exist.

Gun laws in the UK are among the most restrictive in the world. In March of 1996, a deranged man walked into a school in Dunblane, Scotland and killed 16 children and one teacher. In the aftermath of this tragedy, British politicians sought to reduce violent crime by enacting a ban on all handguns. Handgun owners were given a February 1998 deadline to turn in their firearms--and they did. The UK was supposed to become a much safer place--but dramatic increases in crime following the gun ban proved it didn't.

A July 3, 2009, Daily Mail article reported that "Britain's violent crime record is worse than any other country in the European Union, it has been revealed. Official crime figures show the U.K. also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and even South Africa."
Maybe some of our UK knifebros would like to comment on this one.......

Reprinted from an NRA Alert Newsletter
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Postby ChrisR » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:17 am

I'll have a go ... :D

My own personal opinion is that the banning of handguns was a terrible mistake because there used to be an extremely good and tough permit system, which put guns largely into the hands of very responsible people. The Dunblane massacre proved that no permit system is completely perfect but now we have a situation where the only people who have handguns are violent criminals ... and a handful of armed police. Most police in the UK do not carry firearms and this is a situation that the police commanders have sought to continue because they are worried about an escalation in weapons carry by criminals if the police were routinely armed. Personally I think they have already lost the upper-hand because drug-dealers and gangs routinely arm themselves to protect themselves from each other.

With regard to the rioting, I am not sure that rioting could have been stopped by armed civilians. Certainly shop-keepers could have defended their property better but the crowds of thugs were extremely large and moved between areas very quickly - coordinating their attacks using mobile phones. The core of the rioters seem to have been members of street gangs, who put down personal differences and united against the police. I have no doubt that they sought to push police out of their territories and make their areas a police-free-zone ... and on the back of that they decided to loot and steal as many high-value goods as they could get their hands on. They took as their cue the softly-softly approach that the police made to the initial riot in Tottenham, which had been sparked by a genuine protest by the family of a guy who had been shot by the police 2 days before.

I feel that the police made a very bad mistake in not cracking down on the first riots hard and showing that they could restore order ... they held back because they said that they didn't have enough police on the ground to tackle the rioters and they were slow to monitor the internet (Facebook etc) where the rioters were planning their raids. Had they used guns though I think it could have turned into a bloodbath with a lot of innocent civilians loosing their lives. The hardcore rioters were gang members and no doubt had access to weapons that could have caused havoc if they had felt that they had to use them.
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:22 am

ChrisR wrote:I'll have a go ... :D

My own personal opinion is that the banning of handguns was a terrible mistake because there used to be an extremely good and tough permit system, which put guns largely into the hands of very responsible people. The Dunblane massacre proved that no permit system is completely perfect but now we have a situation where the only people who have handguns are violent criminals ... and a handful of armed police. Most police in the UK do not carry firearms and this is a situation that the police commanders have sought to continue because they are worried about an escalation in weapons carry by criminals if the police were routinely armed. Personally I think they have already lost the upper-hand because drug-dealers and gangs routinely arm themselves to protect themselves from each other.

With regard to the rioting, I am not sure that rioting could have been stopped by armed civilians. Certainly shop-keepers could have defended their property better but the crowds of thugs were extremely large and moved between areas very quickly - coordinating their attacks using mobile phones. The core of the rioters seem to have been members of street gangs, who put down personal differences and united against the police. I have no doubt that they sought to push police out of their territories and make their areas a police-free-zone ... and on the back of that they decided to loot and steal as many high-value goods as they could get their hands on. They took as their cue the softly-softly approach that the police made to the initial riot in Tottenham, which had been sparked by a genuine protest by the family of a guy who had been shot by the police 2 days before.

I feel that the police made a very bad mistake in not cracking down on the first riots hard and showing that they could restore order ... they held back because they said that they didn't have enough police on the ground to tackle the rioters and they were slow to monitor the internet (Facebook etc) where the rioters were planning their raids. Had they used guns though I think it could have turned into a bloodbath with a lot of innocent civilians loosing their lives. The hardcore rioters were gang members and no doubt had access to weapons that could have caused havoc if they had felt that they had to use them.
Thanks Chris for the on scene analysis...greatly appreciated...It's hard for those here in America to not only imagine what has been going on, but the stress that honest law abiding citizens of your country are experiencing now. Be safe I hope and pray all the havoc that is going on will end soon....Doc :spyder:
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Postby The Deacon » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:38 am

ChrisR wrote:With regard to the rioting, I am not sure that rioting could have been stopped by armed civilians. Certainly shop-keepers could have defended their property better...
Which is as it should be. The right to keep and bear arms is not so much about me being able to protect you, it's about me being able to protect me. It's about the sure and certain knowledge that, at the moment my person or property needs protection the most, the police will not be there. That, in reality, it's not even their function to be there. That, instead, their function is to write up a report of what happened and attempt to apprehend the person or persons responsible.

That said, New York City is not much better.
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:49 am

The Deacon wrote:Which is as it should be. The right to keep and bear arms is not so much about me being able to protect you, it's about me being able to protect me. It's about the sure and certain knowledge that, at the moment my person or property needs protection the most, the police will not be there. That, in reality, it's not even their function to be there. That, instead, their function is to write up a report of what happened and attempt to apprehend the person or persons responsible.

That said, New York City is not much better.
Paul....I think the same can be said for anywhere....The police position is re-active....and they are only minutes away when seconds count!....Doc :D
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Postby The Deacon » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:47 am

Dr. Snubnose wrote:Paul....I think the same can be said for anywhere....The police position is re-active....and they are only minutes away when seconds count!....Doc :D
Most definitely Doc. That's the way I meant it, that no law abiding citizen anywhere should be deprived of the ability to defend their person, family, and property because expecting the police to do it for you is unrealistic.
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Postby razorsharp » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:19 am

politics is the worlds F :eek: :eek:K up- short and simple

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Postby ChrisR » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:54 am

The Deacon wrote:Which is as it should be. The right to keep and bear arms is not so much about me being able to protect you, it's about me being able to protect me. It's about the sure and certain knowledge that, at the moment my person or property needs protection the most, the police will not be there. That, in reality, it's not even their function to be there. That, instead, their function is to write up a report of what happened and attempt to apprehend the person or persons responsible.
If anything good comes of this I hope that it will prove that the police cannot 'keep the peace' because they have become (and probably always were) a 'reactive' force ... they arrive after a problem has occurred and try to sort it out but they do not really deter criminals. It is everyone's right to defend their lives & property with 'reasonable force' but a lot of home owners are worried that what they consider reasonable (at 3am in the dark) might not be thought reasonable by a well-off judge in the cold light of day. I would prefer the law to allow a home owner to assume the worst and to react accordingly because I think it is unreasonable for anyone to assess whether an intruder is there to murder them or just steal the TV.

It was interesting that, in a few areas (Turkish & Sikh) the locals came out onto the streets with cricket & baseball bats to stand shoulder to shoulder and defend their shops and houses from the threat of looters. Sadly 3 of these people were killed when a car drove through their lines ... but the police have at least caught the assailants.

Luckily I live well away from the hot-spots in the large cities where gang crime is a problem. But I do keep a keen eye on the news & current-affairs TV and have been following closely what has been happening - hoping that none of my friends have got caught up in anything.
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Postby The Mastiff » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:17 am

I do recall that when we had rioting in the US after the Rodney kind police trials the authorities were very slow to respond with any meaningful actions for what?, 3 days? It wasn't until the news carried footage of the attacks on people, not property that they finally began moving.Prior to that the police essentially watched the affair from a distance doing nothing. Recall the attack on Reginald Denny ( spelling) the truck driver pulled out of his rig, and the dance one bad guy did over him after hitting him with a brick to the head while already prone and unconscious, or close to it.

They then came in force. It wasn't until they had the military back up that they really asserted themselves.

I suppose taking the slow approach is better than having the government roll up in 70 ton battle tanks and PC's and grind people under the tracks. People here would likely look at the government as a larger threat than the rioters though to be honest it's not easy to keep from wanting the authorities to "read the riot act" to the crowd and begin firing.

As far as gun control in Great Britan I can't talk for everybody, or the majority, but my ex in laws were very anti gun and the thought of civilian gun ownership to them just wasn't a good idea. I got the idea that gun ownership wasn't as passionate an issue for the English, and the majority didn't own guns anyway. Not like here with our 2nd amendment and over 200 million firearms in civilian hands. Different cultures with different ideas on the role of the government and police.

Who are we to tell them how to do it. They've been around since before our country was discovered by europeans so they must be doing something right. :) .

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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:27 am

The Mastiff wrote:I do recall that when we had rioting in the US after the Rodney kind police trials the authorities were very slow to respond with any meaningful actions for what?, 3 days? It wasn't until the news carried footage of the attacks on people, not property that they finally began moving.Prior to that the police essentially watched the affair from a distance doing nothing. Recall the attack on Reginald Denny ( spelling) the truck driver pulled out of his rig, and the dance one bad guy did over him after hitting him with a brick to the head while already prone and unconscious, or close to it.

They then came in force. It wasn't until they had the military back up that they really asserted themselves.

I suppose taking the slow approach is better than having the government roll up in 70 ton battle tanks and PC's and grind people under the tracks. People here would likely look at the government as a larger threat than the rioters though to be honest it's not easy to keep from wanting the authorities to "read the riot act" to the crowd and begin firing.

As far as gun control in Great Britan I can't talk for everybody, or the majority, but my ex in laws were very anti gun and the thought of civilian gun ownership to them just wasn't a good idea. I got the idea that gun ownership wasn't as passionate an issue for the English, and the majority didn't own guns anyway. Not like here with our 2nd amendment and over 200 million firearms in civilian hands. Different cultures with different ideas on the role of the government and police.

Who are we to tell them how to do it. They've been around since before our country was discovered by europeans so they must be doing something right. :) .

Joe
I don't know Joe...but correct me if I'm wrong...at the start of WWII when the English were attacked by Germany and the brits didn't have any firearms to protect themselves...I remember reading something about US farmers sending their shotguns over the England so our allies could indeed defend what was theirs.....I guess they had some strict firearm laws even back then...sometimes people never learn....so about doing something right, I don't know...they are dong something, but I'm sorry if I don't think what that something is...is right......Doc :D
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Postby ChrisR » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:01 am

I am not a lawyer but I *think* that serious firearm control came in well after WW2 and that there would be a lot more firearms about back then than now. Certainly in the years after WW1 it was fairly common for a gentleman to carry his old service revolver for self defense and I don't think those guns were held illegally. I'd guess that US farmers sending guns would probably be more to do with getting the whole country to get involved with the war effort ... rather like when here they asked everyone to donate metal (fences, tin baths, saucepans) to build fighter planes. The problem even then wasn't the lack of metal (they had plenty), it was the lack of well-trained pilots ... but the politicians recognised that they needed to get everyone in Society to feel that they were helping the war effort. ;)

The slow police response to these riots was probably caused by a number of factors:
  • recent scandals involving Murdoch's News Corp. have led to some senior police officers resigning and temporary appointments have had to be made to fill the gaps
  • they are just not used to dealing with big riots and were not properly prepared
  • recent protests/demonstrations that went bad have led to the police being criticised for being too heavy-handed
  • the first riot was started after the police shot a man and then seemed to fudge the investigation - subsequently I think it will be found that the guy had a gun and the police acted within their powers but still, tempers were high and the "race card" was being played
  • officers on the ground were unsure whether to police the riots as demonstrations or pure criminality
  • many officers asked for assurances that they would not face disciplinary action if rioters were hurt and later sued
  • the hardcore rioters were based on street gangs who were already well organised before the events kicked off - this meant they were able to use mobile comms and the internet to coordinate attacks on shops faster then the police could respond
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Postby The Mastiff » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:00 am

I don't know Joe...but correct me if I'm wrong...at the start of WWII when the English were attacked by Germany and the brits didn't have any firearms to protect themselves...I remember reading something about US farmers sending their shotguns over the England so our allies could indeed defend what was theirs.....I guess they had some strict firearm laws even back then...sometimes people never learn....so about doing something right, I don't know...they are dong something, but I'm sorry if I don't think what that something is...is right......Doc
Doc, My grandfather sent a pistol and a shotgun during that call for donations. I'm not for taking away peoples rights or abilities to defend themselves. It's just that I bristle when other countries citizens ( or subjects if you will) speak to me about how to run our country so I figure it would be sort of hypocritical for me to tell one of the worlds oldest continuous countries with serving governments that have been around longer than our country was a country how to run their place. Would I live there? No! My freedoms and rights are too important to me and I can find no excuses not to lawfully take part in our own political process in order to attempt to influence what I can of it.

England shares interests with us and are as close as any ally can be but I wouldn't want to become another England for obvious reasons though I would volunteer to fight to defend their country and it's people.

Joe
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Postby The Mastiff » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:16 am

I am not a lawyer but I *think* that serious firearm control came in well after WW2 and that there would be a lot more firearms about back then than now. Certainly in the years after WW1 it was fairly common for a gentleman to carry his old service revolver for self defense and I don't think those guns were held illegally. I'd guess that US farmers sending guns would probably be more to do with getting the whole country to get involved with the war effort ... rather like when here they asked everyone to donate metal (fences, tin baths, saucepans) to build fighter planes. The problem even then wasn't the lack of metal (they had plenty), it was the lack of well-trained pilots ... but the politicians recognised that they needed to get everyone in Society to feel that they were helping the war effort
Chris, as I understand it the weapons were meant not for scrap but to quickly equip the TA ( ? , not sure of it's name but it was essentially reserve forces and stay behind secret units) In addition to constabulary units. There were also quantities of Thompsons and other weapons sent. This would have been before Lend Lease when Roosevelt had to fight a powerful isolationist and anti war blocks in congress and couldn't do much overtly as far as munitions. We were still officially neutral at that point and sold arms on a cash and carry basis. Not much in the way of military aid yet at that point so programs like this volunteer drive IMO did more to help morale in the UK than it did arming more than what amounted to constabulary type units.

By the way the factors you included in your post were dead on. What will be interesting seeing what comes of this on issues like stiffening up on minors who commit criminal acts and other issues which embolden the lawbreakers currently.

Joe
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Postby ChrisR » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:05 am

The Mastiff wrote:Chris, as I understand it the weapons were meant not for scrap but to quickly equip the TA ( ? , not sure of it's name but it was essentially reserve forces and stay behind secret units) In addition to constabulary units.
That makes sense ... the Home Guard and the saboteur units that were hastily set up at the start were poorly equipped, as most of the weaponry had gone to the main army - much of which had then been lost in the retreat to Dunkirk. Good old Roosevelt was very creative with his support for the UK during the early stages of the war ;)
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Postby The Deacon » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:13 am

Iit happened not once, but twice. American shooters donated and sent firearms for home defense to Britain during WWI. After the war, the British government confiscated and destroyed them. SSDD in WWII.
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Postby coonan » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:51 am

In L.A. riots they shut down the gun stores .Just like they stopped aluminum bat sales to the U.K. via E-BAY after local stocks ran out. You would not want to hurt any one by defending yourself now would you.You should all stand to demand your gun rights back.It will not be easy . Look out U.S.A they are not done with us yet . The big push to take our guns are on the way.

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Postby pmel018 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:27 am

Serious control of firearms began in the UK at the end of WW1. Revolution was in the air, Russia had already fallen, and the authorities were worried that the disillusioned and angry working class men returning from the trenches would take up arms against the state. Rifles were made difficult to obtain and ammunition the same. For reasons best known to the authorities shotguns were not subject to such stringent controls, and still aren't. Some types are restricted, but in general it is relatively easy to obtain a Shotgun Certificate.
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Postby D56 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:36 pm

The "riots" were not political or social gripes, they were opportunist thieving cowards. One shot to the head of any one of these rats would of had them all them scarpering. We should be able to arm and protect ourselves in this country.

Just my 2p...

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Postby Blerv » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:53 pm

We are a nation that promotes neighborhood watch groups but is (to a degree) against guns in this day in age.

It's unfortunate but yet another piece of proof for my Canadian friends who claim gun allowances increase crime rate.

My heart goes out to the citizens having to endure the savagery of such a situation. :(
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Postby dialex » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:00 am

I am watching with great interest the evolution in UK.
A colleague of mine who was recently there told me that he could have never imagine that such a civilized and polite people could turn into unleashed rioters.
Strangely, or maybe not that strange, this makes me think at Tyler Durden's words in Fight Club:
"...I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. God **** it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables – slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy **** we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won't. We're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off..."
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